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1. (WO2007009170) SPECIMEN COLLECTION APPARATUS
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Claims

1. Guide apparatus for use with a container for collecting a specimen, the apparatus including:
a funnel portion;
a neck portion locatable inside an opening of the container;
attachment means for attaching the guide apparatus to the container; and
a region of weakness to facilitate separation of the funnel portion from the neck portion
wherein the funnel portion of the guide apparatus is separable from the neck portion after collection of the specimen at the region of weakness.

2. Guide apparatus for use with a container for collecting a specimen, the apparatus including:
a funnel portion;
a neck portion locatable inside an opening of the container; and
attachment means for attaching the guide apparatus to the container;
wherein at least the funnel portion of the guide apparatus is separable from the container after collection of the specimen.

3. Guide apparatus according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the attachment means includes adhesive to adhere the neck portion to an inner region of the container opening.

4. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the funnel portion is expandable from a storage configuration in which the guide apparatus is attached to the container and retained therein.

5. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the funnel portion includes regions of overlap.

6. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims further including biasing means to urge the funnel portion to an in-use configuration.

7. Guide apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the biasing means is incorporated into the outer rim of the funnel portion.

8. Guide apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the biasing means extends between the neck portion and the outer rim of the funnel portion.

9. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the attachment means is sufficiently strong that in use, the container can be held in position by a user holding a portion of the guide apparatus without the container detaching from the funnel during collection of a specimen.

10. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims further including a tab extending from the funnel portion for holding by a user during use of the apparatus.

11. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the funnel portion has a pair of tabs with one tab located either side of a split in the funnel portion, the tabs having overlapping regions for holding by a user.

12. Guide apparatus according to claim 1 1 wherein the tabs interlock.

13. Guide apparatus according to claim 1 1 or claim 12 wherein the tabs extend from an outer rim of the funnel portion.

14. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims further including a flange for attaching to the container.

15. Guide apparatus according to claim 14 wherein the flange includes an internally threaded portion configured to engage a thread on the container.

16. Guide apparatus according to claim 14 or claim 15 wherein the flange further includes an external thread configured to engage with an internal thread of a container lid.

17. Guide apparatus according to claim 16 wherein the flange is made from a compressible material forming a seal when the lid is applied to the container over the flange.

18. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the funnel portion is telescopically expandable to an in-use configuration.

19. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the funnel portion is pleated, facilitating radial expansion to an in-use configuration.

20. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, made from a material selected from the group including flexible plastic, paper, wax-coated paper, silicon and rubber.

21. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims wherein at least the funnel portion is made from a biodegradable material.

22. Guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims further including a sealing member around an opening of the container for preventing leakage of specimen from a closed container.

23. A blank for forming a guide apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims.

24. A collection system for collecting a specimen, the system including:
a container and lid;
guide apparatus having a funnel portion and a neck portion, the neck portion being locatable inside an opening of the container; and
attachment means for attaching the guide apparatus to the container;
wherein the guide apparatus has:
a storage configuration in which the funnel portion is collapsed inside the container permitting closure with the lid; and an in-use configuration in which the funnel portion is expanded to guide the specimen into the container.

25. A collection system according to claim 24 wherein at least the funnel portion is removable from the container after collection of the specimen.

26. A collection system according to claim 25 wherein the guide apparatus includes a region of weakness to facilitate separation and removal of the funnel portion from the neck portion.

27. A collection system according to any one of claims 24 to 26 wherein the attachment means is sufficiently strong that in use, the container can be held in position by a user holding a portion of the guide apparatus without the container detaching from the funnel during collection of a specimen.

28. A collection system according to any one of claims 24 to 27 further including a sealing member around the container opening, the sealing member preventing leakage of specimen from the container when the lid is applied.

29. A blank for a guide apparatus, the blank including:
a blank portion defining a funnel;
a blank portion defining a neck extending from the funnel;
blank portions defining a pair of interlocking tabs, each tab being disposed at opposing ends of the blank portion defining the funnel;
wherein when assembled, the blank forms a guide apparatus suitable for use with a container for collecting a specimen.